Getting your North Carolina insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in North Carolina. Whether you’re interested in selling property and casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, or any combination of those lines of authority, this article has the information you need to get started.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance has a 6-step process on how to become an insurance agent in North Carolina. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the North Carolina insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your NC insurance license quickly and easily.
How to Get Your North Carolina Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in North Carolina is easy! Just follow our step-by-step guide. Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can visit it again throughout this process.
Step 1. Which Insurance Licenses Do You Need?
The first step to getting your insurance license is choosing which licenses you need. The most common licenses new insurance agents get are the property & casualty license (P&C), life and health insurance license (L&H).
The types of insurance products and policies you’ll be selling will determine which licenses you need. Here are some examples of the types of policies you can market with each license:
- Property and Casualty Insurance License – Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Business Insurance, etc…
- Life and Health Insurance License – Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, Health Insurance, etc…
Most insurance agents and producers choose to get both P&C and L&H licenses, but if you plan on specializing in only one category then you don’t need every license.
Insurance adjusters require a separate license. You can find more information on becoming an insurance adjuster here: North Carolina Insurance Adjuster License.
If you plan on specializing as a life insurance agent, then you may also need to hold a certain FINRA securities license.
Step 2. North Carolina Insurance Pre-License Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, you must now take your North Carolina insurance pre-license education courses.
Most folks choose to take their insurance pre-license course online. These courses are created specifically to give you the skills you need to pass the test. The types of licenses you choose (also known as “lines of authority”) will determine which courses you take.
Each line of authority in North Carolina requires twenty (20) hours of pre-license education. This means that if you wish to get a Property and Casualty license, you must take forty (40) hours of pre-licensing, and for Life, Accident, and Health you must also take forty (40) hours.
You will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Keep this certificate, as you will need it when taking your exam.
In North Carolina, you have ninety (90) days to pass the insurance license exam after completing your pre-license education. If it’s more than ninety (90) days, you will need to retake the pre-license course.
For North Carolina insurance pre-license education courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 3. North Carolina Insurance License Application
Once you have completed your pre-licensing education, you are now ready to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you have passed the exam for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.
The fee for an online application is $50 per line, plus a $44 application fee, the $38 fingerprint fee, and a $6 NIPR fee for a total cost of $138.
Fill out your online application on the NIPR North Carolina page.
Step 4. Fingerprinting And Background Check
North Carolina requires that all insurance license applicants provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check. If you have any prior misdemeanors or felonies, this may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. For more information on this topic, call the North Carolina Department of Insurance at (919) 807-6800 or email the License Department.
The fee for fingerprinting is $38 (you should have already paid this fee when you submitted your application).
Schedule your fingerprinting appointment with any of the approved vendors in this North Carolina Fingerprint Provider PDF. Please read the instructions on this PDF, as some of the providers may not provide the fingerprint information directly to the Department of Insurance, and you will have to do this manually).
Step 5. North Carolina Insurance License Exam
The next step after submitting your application and having your fingerprints taken is to pass the insurance exam. You will take one exam for each line of insurance you wish to carry.
You should receive an email from Pearson VUE after submitting your application with a “reservation number” to take the exams.
You have ninety (90) days from the time you completed your pre-licensing course to the time you pass the exam. If you do not pass the exam in this time period, you will need to retake the pre-licensing education for that line. There is also a five (5) test maximum until you would need to retake the education.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching you. For people who haven’t tested in a situation like this should be aware of this fact, and work on taming their nerves prior to sitting for the exam. One great way to get some experience with insurance testing is taking an insurance practice exam.
The fee for each attempt of the exams is $45. When you show up you must have a photo ID and any other documentation that Pearson VUE requires you to have. Each exam contains 55 multiple-choice questions. Here is the North Carolina Insurance Exam Content Outline provided by Pearson VUE.
To explain the scoring of this exam, we will quote the Pearson VUE North Carolina Insurance Licensing Examination Candidate Guide:
The passing score of an examination was set by the North Carolina Department of Insurance (in conjunction with Pearson VUE) after a comprehensive study was completed for each examination. Raw scores are converted into scaled scores that can range from 0 to 100. To avoid misuse of score information, numeric scores are only reported to failing candidates. The scaled score that is reported to you is neither the number of questions you answered correctly nor the percentage of questions you answered correctly. With a passing score of 70, any score below 70 indicates how close the candidate came to passing, rather than the actual number or percentage of questions the candidates answered correctly.
Check out our Insurance Exam Guide. It’s extremely in-depth, and will hopefully help you pass the first time.
Looking for a guide to passing the insurance exam in North Carolina? Check out our North Carolina Insurance License Exam article.
Insurance license tests are intentionally difficult, but not impossible by any means. You should study to the point of comfortability with the information before you attempt the test. Failing the exam isn’t the end of the world, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the fee each time you attempt the test.
StateRequirement recommends that you study for one exam at a time, then after passing, starting on your next line. The exams are difficult enough on their own without confusing information from one line to another. Check out our review of the Kaplan Insurance Course.
You may register to take your exams and find more information on the Pearson VUE North Carolina Exams website.
Step 6. Application Review
Once you have submitted your application and have filled all the other requirements, your license application will be reviewed by the state. Your background check will also be reviewed.
If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued within three to five (3-5) business days. If there are any items from your background check that need to be reviewed, it may slow down the process of issuance. If this is the case, the state may contact you to provide context to the issues that they have run into.
You will receive an email from Pearson Vue regarding your license acceptance. This email will also have a link to print your license.
You’ve done the work, put in the time and effort, and now hold the key to your own success! We’re proud of you. Take five (5) minutes and celebrate.
After Getting Your North Carolina Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in North Carolina. A common question we hear is, “I have my insurance license, now what?” Here are a few things you can do or need to know:
- Get a job in the insurance field. Check out StateRequirement’s Insurance Jobs board
- If you’re going to sell advanced life insurance products, you’ll need to have the proper securities licenses. Series 6, Series 7, and Series 63 are the most common among insurance agents, but you’ll need to begin with the SIE (Securities Industry Essentials) exam. Find out which licenses you need with our Securities Licensing Guide
- Every two years, you’ll need to renew your insurance license. Check out our guides on North Carolina Insurance License Renewal and North Carolina Insurance Continuing Education for more details
- Learn how to market yourself as an insurance agent: Have a look at our Insurance Agent Marketing article
- Interested in learning how successful life insurance agents operate? Check out our How Do Life Insurance Companies Make Money article
North Carolina Department of Insurance Contact Information
North Carolina Department of Insurance
1204 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1204
Phone: (919) 807-6800
Fax: (919) 715-3794
License Search: North Carolina Insurance License Search and Lookup
North Carolina Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in North Carolina?
Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: North Carolina Insurance License Renewal
How long does it take to get an insurance license in North Carolina?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your North Carolina insurance exam. Some people study for as little as one week and feel comfortable taking the exam. We recommend you take whatever amount of time you need to feel comfortable with the material. Check out our guide: How to Pass the Insurance Exam
How much does the North Carolina insurance license cost?
The total cost for your insurance course, application, and exam will be about $375. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, add $45 for each subsequent attempt.
How do I get a life insurance license in North Carolina?
Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.
How do I get a property and casualty license in North Carolina?
Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.
Do I need business insurance in North Carolina?
If you are operating a business based in North Carolina, you probably need North Carolina business insurance to protect your assets and operate safely.